Salmon

The Beer Lover’s Table: Summery Cured Salmon with Marble x Holy Crab LanGOSEtine Langoustine & Pineapple Gose

I like a beer that isn’t afraid of being controversial - and Marble’s LanGOSEtine is definitely polarising. For beer drinkers unused to sour beers, goses - which are distinctly tart, as well as saline - are an acquired taste. The fact that this particular gose is brewed with pineapple and langoustines makes it all the more eyebrow-raising.

But don’t be put off by its quirks. Zesty, bright, and fresh, Langosetine is summertime drinking perfection - especially considering the langoustines add subtle, briny depth rather than fishiness. (Consider, too, that oyster stouts have been made since the 1800s, so there’s a precedent for seafood-laced brews.)

Though this is the kind of easygoing beer that could get on with all kinds of dishes, seafood is a natural pick - and cured salmon works beautifully.

Making your own cured salmon is an exceptionally gratifying thing, especially given how simple the process really is (and how impressive the end results). All you need to procure is kosher salt (I used Diamond Crystal), sugar, herbs, spices, and citrus zest, plus the best cut of salmon you can get your hands on - it’s worth paying for sashimi-grade fish, as you’ll want it as fresh as can be.

Time does the rest. After 24 hours, the fish will have shed moisture and darkened to a burnt terracotta hue. Eight more hours of air-drying in the fridge, and it’s ready to be sliced.

Though this salmon is prepared similarly to a classic Swedish gravadlax, I made a few tweaks to the recipe to make it especially summery. Pineapple plays very well with basil, so I used it in place of the more traditional dill. To add a bit of tropicality, I used lemon and orange zest, as well as lime and pomelo. Served atop malty rye bread and with a swipe of tangy crème fraîche, it’s the perfect meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Summery Cured Salmon
Serves 4-6

For the salmon:
140g Diamond Crystal kosher salt
100g light brown sugar
1 tsp red peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
Zest of 1 lime
Zest of 1 honey pomelo
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
1 large bunch basil, roughly chopped
500g boneless, skin-on salmon fillet, sushi-grade

To serve:
Rye bread
Crème fraîche
Freshly grated black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon

Line a small-to- medium baking tray with foil. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the first four ingredients together, whisking to combine. In a small bowl, add the zests of the four citrus fruits (I recommend using a Microplane grater, to ensure you don’t take off any bitter pith when zesting).

Place half of the salt and sugar mix into the foil-lined baking sheet, patting until it's just slightly larger than the piece of salmon. Place 1/3 of the basil under where the salmon will lie.

Put the salmon skin-side down on the salt mix, and then sprinkle over the zest and remaining basil. Cover the fillet with the remaining half of the salt and sugar mix, or until the fish is fully covered. Add a second piece of foil on top and crimp the two pieces together so they're tightly sealed around the fish. Place in the refrigerator and cover the salmon with heavy objects to help press out any excess moisture (I used several beer bottles).

Leave the salmon to cure for a full 24 hours. After 24 hours, remove it from the parcel and dispose of the curing mixture. Rinse any excess mixture off the salmon and pat to dry.

Fit a rack over a baking sheet, and place the salmon on top of the rack and into the fridge. Leave to chill and air-dry for eight more hours. When finished, place the salmon in a sealed container and refrigerate. It should keep for 3-4 days.

To serve, toast your slices of rye bread and top each with a generous swipe of crème fraîche. Using a very sharp knife, first remove the skin from the salmon and then slice very thin slices on a bias. Top each slice of crème fraîche-covered toast with a generous heap of cured salmon slices. Finish off with a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper and some lemon zest.

Claire M. Bullen is a professional food and travel writer, a beerhound and all-around lover of tasty things. When she's not cracking open a cold one, she's probably cooking up roasted lamb with hummus. Or chicken laksa. Or pumpkin bread. You can follow her at @clairembullen. Pick up a can of Marble LanGOSEtine in store or at our online shop

The Beer Lover’s Table: Salmon Poke and Hitachino Nest White Ale

What is it about January and uncooked fish? This time last year, I was making ceviche. And today, I’d like to introduce you to poke.

Poke (say “po-kay,” not “poke”) is of Hawaiian origin, traditionally a dish of marinated Ahi tuna, sweet onions and seaweed, sometimes served over rice. In recent years, it’s spread from Hawaii to California, from California to New York, and now overseas, its recipe evolving to include different varieties of fish, grains and vegetables along the way.

If ceviche delicately zings with citrus, then poke is brawnier, intense with umami, dripping in soy sauce and sesame oil. This version is a riff on the traditional, with additions like edamame (which adds textural variety and pretty pops of green), avocado (which contributes creaminess), and Sriracha mayo (which makes pretty much everything it touches more awesome). I opted for salmon in place of tuna, and I served my poke heaped on seasoned sushi rice. NB: If you’re the kind of sushi obsessive who balks at preparing it yourself, then simple-to- make poke is for you.

I don’t think there’s a better beer in the world to go with this poke than the fantastic, perennially underrated Hitachino Nest White Ale. Beautifully clean and delicate, floral on the nose, and flickering with orange and spice, this Japanese take on witbier is perfectly executed. Its subtlety, its mouthfeel — which is somehow both fizzing with carbonation and lightly creamy — and its brightness were made for the dinner table. Take that, Dryanuary.

Salmon Poke
Serves 2-3 as main courses or 4-5 as appetisers

For the rice:
250g sushi rice
3 tbs rice vinegar
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt

For the poke:
4 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp sesame seeds
300g sushi-grade, skinless salmon (approximately two fillets)
1/2 sweet white onion, diced
1 red chilli, finely sliced
250g shelled, cooked edamame (defrosted if frozen)
1/4 cucumber, very finely sliced
2 scallions (green parts only), finely sliced
1 avocado, cubed
Sriracha mayonnaise, to taste*

First, prepare the sushi rice: rinse the rice under running water for approximately one minute, or until the water runs clear. Add the rinsed rice to a lidded saucepan with 330ml water and bring to a boil. As soon as the rice has begun to boil, put the lid on and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat - keep the lid on - and let sit for 30 minutes.

While the rice is resting, mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice and sesame seeds in a medium-sized bowl.

Prep your salmon fillets by cutting them into large, approximately 4cm cubes. Add to the bowl containing the soy sauce mixture along with the white onion and chilli. Stir, until the salmon pieces are well coated in the mixture, and leave for 5-10 minutes.

Once the rice has rested for 30 minutes, remove the lid and season with the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, mixing gently. Portion the rice out on the plates and divide the marinated salmon mix between them. Divide edamame, cucumber, scallions and avocado between each plate, arranging haphazardly. Finally, top with a few dollops of Sriracha mayonnaise. Serve immediately.

*Bottled Sriracha mayonnaise is sold at many Asian grocery stores. If you can’t find it, though, it’s easy enough to make your own mixture if you have some Sriracha sauce to hand.

Claire M. Bullen is a professional food and travel writer, a beerhound and all-around lover of tasty things. When she's not cracking open a cold one, she's probably cooking up roasted lamb with hummus. Or chicken laksa. Or pumpkin bread. You can follow her at @clairembullen. And swing over to the shop or the online store for Hitachino Nest White Ale - and pick up some Huy Fong Sriracha Sauce while you're at it..